Britain's *Gambling* Groans

Britain's gambling problem is growing worse. and some say the machine is to blame.

Tony Franklin entered a betting shop in northwest London one morning two weeks ago, and paid 300 pounds, or around $400, into a gambling machine and lost that money within 16 minutes.

Then he paid in another another pound 300. Then a farther pound 1,000 six minutes later. And 20 minutes after that a final pound 1,000.

Within 42 minutes, Mr. Franklin had lost pound 2,600, the latest relapse in a decades-long gambling addiction that he reckons has cost him more than a millions pounds, his marriage, several jobs and his relationship with his three children.

''I just don't know why I go in, and this is the problem,'' Mr. Franklin 46, said a few hours later. ''You know you're going to lose.''

Mr. Franklin has been trying to quit gambling for years. What usually drags him back in is a particular kind of gambling machine, known as fixed odds betting terminal, that lies at the heart of a bitter debate about the future of British Gambling


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